April 12, 2024

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Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels “Dead People Lie Down”

Season One, Episode Two.

Well, we have a brighter show involving more demons and Nazis than we did before.  Does that mean it can’t still be scary?

Wait, am I asking if something with demons and Nazis can be scary?  Nazis are scary in the real world, let alone in the world of fiction!

So, we have Nazis and demons, and a riot that ended up with some dead cops, some dead Mexican-American protestors, and Detective Tiago Vega shot his older brother Raul to prevent Raul from killing more cops.  Vega’s family, for the most part, doesn’t know that.  Raul isn’t dead (yet), but the youngest brother Mateo saw the whole thing and will tell their mama Maria if Raul doesn’t wake up.  But then Mateo more or less literally falls in with a bad crowd.  No, not a Nazi.  A gangleader.

We’ll worry about that later.

I could point out that Magda apparently can appear in two places at the same time as she continues to seduce the German-born pediatrician Peter Craft on the beach while her “son” creeps out at least one of Craft’s boys while simultaneously her mousy older secretary persona is seducing her fascist-wannabe councilman Charlton Townsend with power through political nastiness.

So, that’s the demon stuff.  What about the murder case?

Yes, despite the fact their captain wants Vega and Michener to look into bringing in “any” Mexican for the family of four ritually sacrificed in a manner that sure looks a lot like an Aztec human sacrifice, that doesn’t seem to be happening too quickly.  But then Vega and Michener had a thought:  the Mexican thing is a little too obvious.  Maybe the question to ask is did the family patriarch have any enemies?  Say, at his weird church?

I see that many people wearing yellow robes, I get suspicious.  I see all the money they’re counting in the back room, I get more suspicious.  I see the mother of the main attraction trying to keep the cops away, I get really suspicious.

However, the young woman in question is one Sister Molly Finnister, and she seems really sweet and good, and she and Vega seem to hit if off once Vega figures out a way to actually get back to talk to her (Mexican laborers carrying supplies inside sure is a handy way back there).

Well, we all know how Penny Dreadful treats benevolent female characters now, don’t we?

OK, well, that handles the murder case.  What about the Nazis?  Michener is a bit suspicious, so he gets some of his older Jewish friends to help him keep an eye on some.  One of them is played by Richard Kind.  He may not be very stealthy.

In fact, he isn’t because he and another guy end up dying when the Nazis shoot them in their heads.  Bing Bong dies all over again…

Well, that’s Nazis.  That’s demons.  That’s murder.  Anything else?  I mean, the original series ended its first episode with a long, lightning-streaked moment where Dr. Frankenstein brought a creation to life.  Can we get something like that?

Maybe, depending on how alive Raul is when his mama finds him standing up.

It…was not as effective.

So far, that describes everything about the new Penny Dreadful.